The Social Justice Coalition made up of the diverse people of South Africa held a meeting on Wednesday 25 June 2007 to demonstrate their solidarity with victims of rights abuses in Zimbabwe and those of xenophobic attacks.
This is part of the launch of the Social Justice Coalition, highlighting the continuing political crisis in Zimbabwe and calling on people across South Africa and elsewhere to press the Southern African Development, (SADC), African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN) to act decisively to end systematic political violence in Zimbabwe and resolve the country’s long-standing political crisis. We note that:
1. Zimbabweans voted on 29th April 2008 the elections have not led to a successful and acceptable resolution of the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
2. The period following the election has seen a campaign of State sponsored terror and violence.
3. There is an urgent need for the South African Government working with the Southern African Development Community and the African Union leadership to end the Zimbabwe crisis.
4. Zimbabwe must be helped back onto a positive path, but African human rights and democratic standards must be restored if the region is not to be at risk of conflict and insecurity.
5. In the meanwhile thousands of people mainly from the African continent seek protection and refuge in SA from persecution, starvation and repression; attempts to regularize their stay in SA are met with severe human rights violations.
6. They face continuing national arbitrary raids and arrests, the denial of access to legal and health services as well as inhumane conditions at refugee reception offices and refugee detention centres present additional public health problems.
7. Since Sunday 11 May 2008, xenophobic violence has swept through Gauteng and Western Cape. At least 42 people mostly non South Africans have been confirmed dead, women raped, hundreds injured and more than 50000 dispossessed and displaced.
In light of the MDC withdrawal from elections, the situation has become even more insecure and potentially destructive.
We demand that President Mbeki, the African Union and the United Nations live up to their responsibility to protect the people of Zimbabwe.